Wooting One review: keyboards from the Netherlands

The first keyboard with analogue optical switches


Analogue input

Even though the Flaretech was first thought of as a on and off switch, the guys from Wooting thought it could do more. In not only measuring whether or not the key is pressed or depressed, but also how deeply it is pressed (by seeing how much light is still let through), the way this keyboard works comes closer to how the joysticks and racing wheels work. It is beneficial for certain games too, such as racing games while using the keyboard, as it recognises when you are holding down the throttle key half-way while a regular keyboard can only give you all or nothing. With this tech, you don’t have to get wiped out in a sharp turn anymore while going around a track. There are uses for other gaming genres too, such as various shooters. Some games’ controls require you to hold down a key to sprint. What if with the analogue input, you would only need to push the movement button harder to do so. Even for simple typists, there is a feature. Namely, the digital input function, which allows you to set the key action recognition point at your own preferred softness, anywhere from 1,6mm to 3,6mm out of the 4mm key travel distance.

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In theory, the analogue keyboard has a wide variety of applications in games. In reality though, not all the games do anything with the analogue functionality. For games where you would normally use a controller, it is usable in most cases as the keyboard simulates the controller functionality. If it is a keyboard controlled game, then the possibilities are limited at this moment. This means that the game developers have a major say in the usage of the analogue technology, where the limiting factor is indeed its applicability in the games.

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While the keyboard is up until now considered in the context of gaming, the guys at Wooting see possibilities beyond as well. It should, in theory, also be possible to recognise who is using the computer by analysing their typing pattern. In this scenario, the password would not only need to be correct, but also the person entering it should be too. The technology has possible applications in the medicine too. In this manner, you can measure how typing pattern changes over time and the RSI complaints can be picked up at earlier stages.

Product discussed in this review

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Keyboard, Mechanical keyboard

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